What is the Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement?

What is the Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement?

A J-1 exchange visitor may be subject to a two-year foreign residency requirement under section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This means that he or she cannot change his/her status to that of an H, L, K, OR permanent resident until he or she has returned to their home country for at least two-years OR received a waiver of that requirement.

An exchange visitor is subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement if:
The program in which the exchange visitor was participating was financed in whole or in part directly or indirectly by the United States government or the government of the exchange visitor’s nationality or last residence. The exchange visitor is a national or resident of a country designated as requiring the services of persons engaged in the field of specialized knowledge or skills in which the exchange visitor was engaged for the duration of their program. The exchange visitor entered the United States to receive graduate medical education or training.